The first semifinal match of 2019 Asian Cup football championship has been confirmed as three-time Asian Cup winner Iran will be facing 4-time champion Japan on 28 January in Al Ain. Both teams won their respective quarterfinals to qualify for pre-final of the gala event.
In the first quarterfinal match, Japan were scheduled to meet Vietnam and they were favorites to win. As expected, Japan players performed well and played attacking football. But Vietnam had stability which didn’t give Japanese players much space to score. After playing goal less first half, Japan got penalty and Ritsu Doan converted penalty to give team 1-0 lead.
Doan goal was the only goal scored in the game and Japan through to the semifinal of Asian Cup 2019.
In the second quarterfinal match, Iran was playing against Chinese side who showed good quality of soccer during group stage and round of 16 matches. But against Iranian team, they were looking completely outdated. The fact is Iran attacked pretty well against China PR side and registered victory.
Three successive Asian Cup trophy winners Iran, thrashed China by 3-0 to enter in the semi-final of 17th Asian Cup. Iranian team scored two goals in the first half of the knockout match as Taremi scored first goal of the match in 18th minute. Azmoun doubled the lead in 31st minute. Completion of 45 minutes, Iran were leading by 2-0.
Chinese players were trying best to lower the lead and finding goal scoring opportunities in the second half but Japanese defence didn’t allow them to penetrate. Japan’s Ansarifard scored the last goal of the match in 90th minute to seal him team’s victory and semifinal spot.
Iran will be meeting Japan in the first semi-final clash on January 28 at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.